The extremely competitive and crowded retail market requires companies to do everything right – the first time – or risk losing ground. But how can retail organizations deliver on their initiatives? How can they provide relevant, contextual, and personalized experiences to today’s neo-customers? What steps can they take to transform into intelligent, forward-thinking organizations?
The answer to all these questions is analytics!
Analytics drivers in retail
The possibilities retailers can uncover with data analytics are enormous. From predicting customer behavior to orchestrating each customer touchpoint along the journey to building a winning proposition, and more. Unlocking the power of data can deliver several benefits for retail organizations.
Analytics companies like MicroStrategy offer a range of modern, enterprise-grade analytics solutions to help retailers efficiently and easily unearth insights, and deliver intelligence. These platforms can make it easy to bring all enterprise data assets to one centralized location, visualize data from different functions and processes, and make data-driven decisions.
So, what’s driving the widespread adoption of analytics in the retail industry?
- Omnichannel experiences: One of the biggest drivers for embracing analytics in retail is to deliver omnichannel experiences. Customers are using different devices and channels to engage with retail organizations. It is imperative for retailers to deliver seamless, consistent, and reliable experiences across every touchpoint – regardless of the channel, device, or stage in the customer journey. Analytics allows retailers to precisely understand customer behavior and needs and respond to meet those needs.
- Customer journey analysis: A great retail experience doesn’t just stop at optimizing experiences across channels, Retailers also need to constantly analyze customer journeys and devise strategies to design products (and experiences) that achieve their objectives effectively and efficiently. Retailers can use analytics to understand customer journeys and map them to design products and services accordingly.
- Intelligent supply chain: Given the soaring expectations of customers, optimizing the supply chain and making it intelligent is critical to reduce costs, crash delivery time, and gain a competitive advantage. Using analytics, retailers can transform their supply chain networks for improved operations, better automation, and enhanced visibility. Actionable insights into day-to-day processes can power improved decision-making, enabling retailers to overcome challenges as well as capitalize on new opportunities with agility.
- Accelerated delivery times: The pressure to bring products and services to customers faster is yet another driver for analytics adoption in the retail industry. Using predictive analytics, for instance, retailers can leverage historical data to get insight into the freight lifecycle, thus reducing delivery windows while also providing customers with accurate real-time estimates on when their package is going to arrive.
If you are looking to make the most of analytics to drive your retail organization to the pinnacle of success, you need to be aware of the latest developments. Then, you can efficiently acquire, validate, store, and process the otherwise distributed data for the best business outcomes. Here are the top analytics trends to keep an eye on today:
- Analytics of Things (AoT): One of the top trends for 2022 and beyond is the analysis of data generated by IoT devices. AoT promises to make connected devices smart, giving them the ability to make intelligent decisions on their own. Although the concept is still evolving, in due course, AoT will aid retail organizations to understand different data patterns, detect anomalies, and carry out predictive asset maintenance. It will improve situational awareness – via the continuous analysis of IoT data – and ensure devices in the IoT ecosystem work more intelligently.
- Virtual analytic platforms: Virtual analytic platform providers can help in solving the toughest retail challenges and keep up with increasing customer expectations. With new digital channels constantly emerging, these platforms will provide retailers with better ways to manage inventory, improve marketing strategies, and deliver superior customer experiences. Right from efficient store management capabilities to modern mobile features, improved supply chain performance to wider product assortments – virtual analytic platforms will soon become a one-stop-shop for all retail analytics needs.
- Self-service and data prep: The future will also witness self-service and data prep capabilities becoming mainstays in the retail industry. As the reliance on data grows for day-to-day decision-making, these capabilities will allow every retail employee to have access to the data they need, when they need it, and make critical, time-bound decisions in a jiffy. Automated data prep means they do not have to worry about cleaning or prepping data while leveraging easy-to-use drop-down options to slice and dice data and turn them into action.
- Process Intelligence: Another trend that will dominate the retail analytics world is process intelligence. To uncover the right insights at the right time, more and more retailers will make use of process intelligence to collect and analyze data from individual steps in a process or workflow. Such analysis will not only help in detecting bottlenecks in retail operations; it will also aid in improving operational efficiency through the continuous analysis of historical or real-time data.
- AI Edge: With retailer networks and customer touchpoints exploding, AI Edge will enable retailers to interpret growing volumes of critical data from across the entire ecosystem in real-time. As a perfect amalgamation of Artificial Intelligence and edge computing, AI Edge can execute AI algorithms on local devices with edge computing capabilities – and not in a centralized server with large computing and processing capabilities. Embracing AI edge can allow retailers to minimize lag times, leverage AI capabilities, and make better decisions – without falling back on data scientists – thus improving customer experiences.
As retail organizations look to make the most of growing volumes of data, modern analytics solutions can allow them to uncover the right insights at the right time and make the most of every customer interaction. Access to timely insights means retailers can reduce costs, grow margins, and build customer loyalty like never before.
Embrace the latest trends in analytics today to transform insights into a competitive edge and elevate business performance and results. Contact Groupsoft today!